Joyce, Joyceans, and the Rhetoric of Citation

By Eloise Knowlton | Go to book overview

1
Punctum: An Introduction

They ad bîn "provoked" ay ⋀ fork, of à grave Brofèsor; àth é's Brèak-š fast--table; ;acùtely profèššionally piquéd, to=introdùce a notion of time [ùpon à plane (?)sù"fàç'e'] by pùnct! ing oles (sic) in iSpace?!

James Joyce, Finnegans Wake

The iconography of the quotation mark unfolds within and around usage: the spur, the scoop, the sperm, the matched and reciprocal symmetry of them, sixty-six and ninety-nine, the yin/yang separated, then doubled. Language hangs on these hooks; hangs together, and hangs separately. Are they two marks, or four, or one? What sum does our pluralization show? Counting will be important here. What inversion of the comma, if these are indeed derived from those available marks of pause, heightened and multiplied? Commas rest the voice; inverted, they exercise it.

They are punctuation, "punctum," the piercing of a surface, violent and violating. Thrust into continuous script, like all punctuation they find their origin in guiding us as we turn dead letters into living speech. Inescapably visual, they signal the return of a perhaps forgotten sound, a dead voice brought back to life, the yearning of the ear beneath the hegemony of the eye.

What does the quotation mark? An insistent separation between you and me, between us and the past. Always this doubleness, always this gap. They mark a certain peculiarly modern separation between reader and what is read, between subject and object, and between reading and writing, where writing counts for more. The quotation marks a nagging worry about telling the truth. (Is this really it, or is this just what somebody said?) A strategy of containment, they attempt to refer words to a stable speaker, who can guarantee them, or be made to take them back.

-1-

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Joyce, Joyceans, and the Rhetoric of Citation
Table of contents

Table of contents

  • Title Page iii
  • Contents vii
  • Foreword ix
  • Acknowledgments x
  • 1 - Punctum: An Introduction 1
  • Part 1 - Quotational Foundations 13
  • 2 - Modernity Draws the Line 15
  • 3 - Joyce's Citational Odyssey 35
  • Part 2 - Inside the Marks: Implications 49
  • 4 - Self . . . Style. Joyce . . . Author 51
  • 5 - Modern Citation, Modern Historiography 64
  • Part 3 - Beyond Quotation: Resistances 79
  • 6 - Moomb 81
  • 7 - Joyce and the Joyceans 101
  • Notes 115
  • Bibliography 125
  • Index 133
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